Rustic Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

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Rustic Zucchini cake is an unpretentious, moist and flavorful, lightly sweet cake topped with dreamy cream cheese frosting.

Rustic Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting from Cosmopolitan Cornbread

This Zucchini Cake is a great way to use up some of your fantastic summer zucchini harvest. Mr. Smith loves a piece of this with his coffee.

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Zucchini has always been on of my favorite vegetables (fruit, technically) to bake into delicious things for the family. One of my childhood favorites was Zucchini Bread, and I looked forward to my mom making it every year.

Rustic Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting from Cosmopolitan Cornbread

Now, if you have kiddos that are determined to not eat anything green….like a veggie… you can peel the zucchini prior to shredding it. I’ve never felt the need to take that extra step, because generally once the kids saw cake, they didn’t even notice the tiny green flecks.

When I make this cake, I put raisins into the batter. Normally I use regular raisins, but I have also used golden raisins.

You can also mix things up a bit and toss in some dried cranberries if you like. These sorts of cakes are very welcoming to different things you make want to stir in.

I use chopped pecans, but you could also use walnuts, or sprinkle finely chopped nuts on top of the frosting. Or omit the nuts altogether if you prefer.

The cake is topped with a very simple, cream cheese frosting that is the perfect touch to finish it off. This cake is great for potlucks and get-togethers, too!

Rustic Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting from Cosmopolitan Cornbread

To make this rustic Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting you will need:

  • zucchini
  • all-purpose flour
  • wheat flour
  • baking soda
  • salt
  • cinnamon
  • nutmeg
  • baking powder
  • eggs
  • sugar
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • plain (unsweetened) applesauce
  • vanilla
  • lemon zest
  • chopped pecans
  • raisins
  • unsalted butter
  • cream cheese
  • powdered sugar
  • milk, if needed
  • mixing bowls
  • mixer
  • 9×13 cake pan
  • baking spray or Baking Spray Replacement
Rustic Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting from Cosmopolitan Cornbread

Check out all of my other cake recipes here on Cosmopolitan Cornbread.

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Yield: 9x13 cake

Rustic Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Rustic Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting from Cosmopolitan Cornbread

Rustic Zucchini cake is and unpretentious, moist and flavorful, lightly sweet cake topped with dreamy cream cheese frosting.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours 5 minutes


For the Cake

  • 2 c shredded zucchini
  • 1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 c wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 c sugar
  • 1/2 c extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 c plain applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/2 c chopped pecans
  • 1/2 c raisins

For the Frosting

  • 1 stick (1/2 c) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 c cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 c powdered sugar
  • 1 Tb milk, if needed


  1. To begin, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Shred two zucchinis – enough to make 2 cups.
  3. If your zucchini is very moist, place it in a sieve to drain off any excess liquid.
  4. In a bowl, combine the flours, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and baking powder. Stir them all together and set aside for now.
  5. In your mixing bowl, beat together the eggs and sugar.
  6. Mix in the extra virgin olive oil, applesauce and vanilla. Beat until smooth.
  7. Add in the flour mixture and again, mix and then beat until smooth.
  8. Stir in the nuts, raisins and zucchini.
  9. Spread the batter into a 9x13 cake pan that has been greased & floured or sprayed with baking spray.
  10. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until it tests done with a toothpick in the center.
  11. Set the cake on a cooling rack and allow it to cool completely, about an hour or so.
  12. When the cake is completely cooled, prepare the frosting.
  13. Beat the butter and cream cheese together until they are nice and fluffy.
  14. Mix in the vanilla.
  15. Add in the powdered sugar, stirring and then beating until airy. The frosting should be creamy. If it is too heavy, mix in the milk to make it easier to spread.
  16. Spread over the cake.
  17. Enjoy!

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 401Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 49mgSodium: 385mgCarbohydrates: 64gFiber: 2gSugar: 48gProtein: 4g

Nutritional Disclaimer: Nutritional data is provided as a courtesy and estimated by a service called Nutritionix. That is a web-based nutritional calculator and is not guaranteed to be accurate. If the nutritional information is vital to you please verify it using your favorite trusted source.

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6 thoughts on “Rustic Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting”

  1. I must try this recipe this weekend – this is surprising for me as I am not a great baker. I cook like my grandma did – a pinch here, a bit more or that – so not a great baker. However I LOVE zucchini bread. My only friend who would bake zucchini bread has moved away. Thank you for providing an easy step by step recipe.

  2. Just made this recipe and it is delicious and so easy to make. My husband could not stop eating it and I had to make myself stop. I do not make too many deserts but this seemed fairly healthy compared to most cakes. Next time I thought I would try adding some shredded carrot too. I did not make the icing…..though I may tomorrow…..for we do not like really sweet icings or anything really sugary, and are watching to make sure we are eating healthy.


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